The late Paul Els from Kloof, and Durbanite Zisandele Mkhize, cycling in the 2018 edition of the Ride for MRP Foundation, a gruelling 606 km ride with purpose to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa. Image: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee
Paul, who lived in Kloof, tragically lost his life in a cycling accident and was due to receive an award for his extraordinary fundraising efforts in the annual Ride for MRP Foundation at the launch of the 2019 edition of the Ride for MRP Foundation at CMH Nissan Durban.
Paul, the Group Store Development Executive from Mr Price Group, was an integral part of the successful 2018 edition of the Ride for MRP Foundation. He raised well over R100,000 for the Ride with purpose to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa. The annual Ride bought 72 cyclists together in December last year, to cycle 606 km from Secunda to Durban, and raised a staggering R1.96 million for the Foundation’s high-impact education and skills development programmes.
Although Paul rode his first ever Ride for MRP Foundation in 2018, he raised a phenomenal R118,000, the second highest among the peloton. His achievement won him a Contend bicycle from Giant, which was accepted by his wife Cheryll, son Paul and stepson Wim Hollander.
Kelvin du Sart, Ride for MRP Foundation Director and Westville Cycle Club Chairman, shared his condolences at the 2019 Ride for MRP Foundation Launch Event on May 14. “While we are here to acknowledge that the ninth Ride for MRP Foundation was a resounding success, it is also a very sad day because we have lost a fellow Westville Cycle Club rider, Paul Els. The Westville Cycle Club wishes his wife Cheryl and his family our deepest condolences. Paul joined us when he took on the challenge to ride his first Ride for MRP Foundation last year and was a regular rider with the ‘Hillcrest Ballies’.”
Paul was fondly remembered as a person who exuded humility and his passion for life and commitment to improving the lives others.
Karen Wells, Head of MRP Foundation, said “We acknowledge, and appreciate, the strength and support that Paul gave the MRP Foundation, through his participation in the Ride for MRP Foundation, and just how passionate he was for the work of the Foundation. At the same time, we also acknowledge what Paul’s family have replicated through Paul’s passion and commitment to the MRP Foundation. By attending our launch event this evening, we see an example of what Paul lived out, we now also see in his loving his family.”
Paul’s stepson Wim Hollander has pledged to ride the 2019 Ride for MRP Foundation in honour of his father.